Lovefraud recently received the following e-mail from a reader in the UK:
I wonder what your take on this pop-music video is? This song is played ad-infinitum on radio stations in the UK; you simply can’t escape it. What disturbs me is its indifference toward the glorification of sociopathic, even psychopathic, behaviour. Clearly the character the singer is playing out has a taste for control; inflicting degrading, humiliating behaviour, even torture, pain and —as the finale of the video suggests—murder; everything the UN Convention on Human Rights was meant to prevent.
The reader included a link to the song Sweet About Me, by Gabriella Cilmi, on YouTube. Here it is:
Quite frankly, the video is shocking.
It starts out like a typical music video with Cilmi singing in front of what appears to be a reggae-style garage band. We see quick cuts of young men—not part of the band—bopping their heads to the beat. Then, 40 seconds into the song, Climi sings the lyrics,
“Tell you something that I’ve found, that the world’s a better place when it’s upside down, boy.”
The camera shows a young man bound and hanging from the ceiling by his feet. We then get to the chorus:
“Sweet about me, nothing sweet about me, yeah.”
No kidding. Through the rest of the video, we see that six more men are bound, locked in a cage, strung up in a net and taped to the floor, and the singer loves every bit of it. As she says, there is truly nothing sweet about her.
So who is this singer? Gabriella Cilmi is a 16-year-old singer from Australia. Sweet About Me, which she wrote, is her debut single, released in March, 2008. In May, her song knocked Madonna from the No. 1 spot on Britain’s top 10 chart.
An article in Australia’s Herald Sun newspaper on July 13, 2008, reported that Sweet About Me spent six weeks in the British top 10. On iTunes charts, Cilmi was No. 2 in Germany and Portugal, No. 3 in Switzerland and No. 5 in Italy.
I am appalled. Yes, the tune is catchy, but the lyrics and imagery of Sweet About Me are truly disturbing.
I suppose the same could be said about many music videos—especially the gangsta rap variety—but I don’t have first-hand knowledge because I don’t watch MTV. But when messages like “the climax of the perfect lie,” along with images of bondage and torture, are being glamorized, it’s no wonder that the world’s population of sociopaths seems to be growing.